A Guide to the Genetics Collections at the APS
Major Collections

L. C. Dunn Papers

b. Nov. 2, 1893, Buffalo, N.Y. d. March 19, 1974. Married Louise Porter, May 2, 1918. Two sons, Robert Leslie D., b. 1921; Stephen Porter D., b. 1928.

Dartmouth C., B.S. (Phi Beta Kappa), 1915. Harvard U., M.S., 1917; Sc.D., 1920; asst. in zoology, 1915-17, 1919. First Lt., U.S. Army, 1917-19. Geneticist, Storrs Expt. Sta., Conn., 1920-28. Professor zoology, Columbia U., 1928-62; emer. prof and res. assoc., Nevis Biol. Sta., 1962-74. Director, Inst. for Study of Human Variation, Columbia U., 1952-58. Exec. officer, Dept. Zool., Columbia U., 1940-46. Visit. invest., Genetics Inst., U. Oslo, 1934-35; visit. lecturer biol., Harvard U., 1949-50; visit, invest., Ist. Super. di Sanità, Rome, 1952-53; res. assoc., Galton Lab., Univ. Cell., London, 1960-61.

Anon., Nature 250:451-52 (1974). Th. Dobzhansky, Ybk. Amer. Philos. Soc. 1974:150-56. Th. Dobzhansky, Biog. Mem. Natl. Acad. Sci. 49:79-104 (1978). G.E. Allen, Folia Mendeliana 10:253-57 (1975). D. Bennett, Ann. Rev. Genetics 11:1-12 (1978). B. Glass, Dict. Scient. Biog+., suppl. (in press). McGraw-Hill Modern Men of Science 2: 1 33-34; McGraw-Hill Mod. Scientists & Engineers, 1980. Amer. Men and Women of Science 12:1564. Natl. Cyclop. Amer. Biog. J: 506-07. World Who's Who in Science 1968:494. Who Was Who in America VI. Scienziati e Technologi contemp. 330-31.

See Dobzhansky, Biog. Mem. Natl. Acad. Sci (1978).

Principles of Genetics (with E.W. Sinnott), 1925, 1932, 1939; (with E.W. Sinnott and Th. Dobzhansky), 1951, 1958. Heredity and Variation, 1932. Heredity, Race, and Society (with Th. Dobzhansky), 1946; 4th ed., 1972). For UNESCO, Race and Biology, 1951; rev., 1961. Heredity and Evolution in Human Populations, 1958. A Short History of Genetics, 1965.

Managing ed., Genetics, 1936-39. Ed., Columbia Biol. Series, 1936-60. Ed., American Naturalist, 1951-60. Ed., Genetics in the Twentieth Century, 1951.

Genetics Soc. Amer., pres., 1932. Amer. Soc. Naturalists, v. pres., 1942; pres., 1960. Amer. Soc. Human Genetics, pres., 1961.

D.Sc., Dartmouth C., 1952. Member, Natl. Acad. Sci., 1943; Amer. Philos. Soc., 1943; Amer. Acad. Arts & Sci., 1950. Foreign memb., Norwegian Acad.; Accad. Pataviana.

Paul David, Donald R. Charles, Arthur G. Steinberg, Dorothea Bennett, leanne Coyne (Mossige), P.K. Anderson, A.B. Beasley, I. Suckling, Paul Chesley, Vernon Bryson, W.C. Morgan, Jr., L. Levine, Katherine Brehme (Warren).

Salome Gluecksobn-Schoenheimer (Waelsch); Walter Landauer; Ruggiero Ceppelini.

The Dunn Papers
See David Bearman, Mendel Newsletter, 12:1-5 (1976). 25 boxes, ca. 8000 items: correspondence, research notes, lecture notes, oral history transcript, manuscripts, photographs, etc. Unrestricted. Table of contents, 58 pp.

Dunn's investigations as a graduate student at Harvard were carried out under the guidance of W. E. Castle. Beginning with some work on Drosophila, Dunn soon shifted to studies of linkage between various genes in mice and rats. His first major period of scientific work, during the eight years he spent at Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station, focused on poultry genetics, especially of chickens. He investigated the relation between egg weight and hatchability and the susceptibility of egg size to selection, and explored the loss of vigor resulting from inbreeding and its restoration by outcrosses between different breeds. Much of this work was done in collaboration with Walter Landauer. Also while at Storrs, Dunn collaborated with E.W. Sinnott in writing the textbook Principles of Genetics. It long remained in extensive use in introductory college courses in genetics.

At Columbia University, 1928-62, Dunn resumed research on the developmental genetics of mice, with occasional work on Drosophila. He collaborated extensively in the mouse experiments with graduate students and research associates, especially Salome Gluecksohn-Schoenheimer and Dorothea Bennett. He also became increasingly involved in studies of human genetics: race mixture in Hawaii, and the genetic composition of the Jewish community in Rome (with collaboration by Stephen Dunn). These interests led to the establishment by Dunn of an Institute for the Study of Human Variation (1952-58) at Columbia University, to which he brought such colleagues as Ruggiero Ceppellini. Probably the work of Dunn and his collaborators on the extraordinary genetic variability at the T locus in mice, mutants of which produce short-tailed and tailless phenotypes and lethal effects and which are widespread in wild mouse populations in spite of their deleterious effects, will stand as Dunn's greatest achievement in genetic research.

Dunn possessed a strong social conscience and broad humanitarian views. The rise of Nazi race policies and anti-Semitism in the 1930s greatly distressed him. He labored to render aid to scientist refugees arriving in America. During World War II his social sympathies led him to participate in more than one American-Soviet organization, and this activity brought upon him, in the 1950s, some political persecution. Dunn strongly defended academic freedom and scientific integrity and was a leader upon whom many younger scientists looked with reverence.

By numerous suggestions, Dunn assisted Milislav Demerec in organizing the highly influential Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on genetics and evolution during the 1940s and 1950s. Dunn was renowned as an editor and popular expositor of heredity, and he wrote or edited not only the books of that type listed above, but also many articles in encyclopedias and other compendia. His strong interest in the history of genetics, which bore fruit in his last book, led him also to initiate the formation of the rich archive of geneticists' correspondence and documentary materials at the Library of the American Philosophical Society.

This L.C. Dunn collection, with its correspondence, reports, notebooks, lectures, photographs, and other memorabilia, documents the development of American genetics, as well as Dunn's own varied interests. There is significant material relating to (1) American-Soviet contacts and the impact of Lysenkoism; (2) the activities of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German Scholars; (3) the Kilgore and Magnusson bills in Congress for the support of science, which were precursors to the establishment of the National Science Foundation; (4) the National Research Council's Committee on Experimental Animals and Plants; (5) research on the genetic composition of the Jewish enclave in Rome; and (6) administrative affairs at Columbia University, especially those of the Zoology Department. There is much correspondence concerning Drosophila genetics, poultry genetics, and other genetical topics, especially with Walter Landauer (ca. 3 boxes).

Detailed finding aid

Selected files
View the key to abbreviations

Amer. Com. for Displaced German Scholars 180: 1933-36 DGS (Braun, Caspari, Goldschmidt, Grüneberg, Stern, et al.)

Amer. Philos. Soc.-Library 8 fold.:1961-72 HE (Shull, Davenport, preserv. hist. materials, G, recommend. genetic books)., C (Libr.)

----, seminars 1, 2   HB (genetics), BIB

Amer.-Soviet Friendship Council 2 fold.:1944-48 SO, C

Amer,-Soviet Science Sec. 3 fold.:1945-47 SO, bulletin

Atomic Energy Commission 18 fold.:1960-72 RS, BS, MG, PG, HS (Inst. Human Variation), TR, CU, BIB

Blood Groups, Jews, Rome 4 fold.:1954 HG, PG

Bonnevie, Kristine 36:1930-38 EM, PG, T (lectures), WWII, PI, BIB, PB

Brecher, Lenore 29:1930-38 RS, ED, BC, PY

Bridges, C.B. 40: 1932-40 DG, CSH, CYG, GS (Philip B.), PB

British scientists 26:1940 WWII, PI

Carrel, Alexis 95:1923-36 PLG, CCT, BC, ED, RC (Ephrussi, Schweitzer)

Caspari, Ernst 57: 1938-44 G (Ephestia), MG, RS, PB, RC (Caspari)

Castle, W.E. 97: 1924-61 MG, RTG, RG, PLG, ED (Castle), AF, NAS, RC, APS, HC, BIB

Charles, D.R. 22:1930-55 MG, ED, ED, RC

Charleston, S.C., studies 9 fold.: HG, PG (Negroes, blood groups, thalassemia, sickle cells, records)

Columbia U. 13 fold.:1929-45 WWII, C, ED, FS, PI, G, RS, MG, PG

Conn. Agric. Exp. Sta 21:1928-33 RS, NAS, G (sheep)

Dahlberg, Gunnar 56: 1946-57 PG, HG, ED, RC (Böök)

Danforth, C.H. 45:1928-52 MG, CU, Fisher

David, Paul 28:1930-46 GS, RS, PG, HG, BD

Demerec, Milislav 25:1936-51 PB, CS, PI, EDIT (Advances in Genetics)

Dobzhansky, Th. 353:1936-51 DG, PG, HG, AN, EV, PRS, IV, CSH, SO, PB, ED, TR, CU, T, RS, RC

Dunn, L.C. 8 fold. MSS, UPB, HG, PG, EU, ED, CU, T, CG

----, Jewish community, Rome 99: undated ca. 1952-54 HG, PG, IM, GS (Pollitzer, R. Auerbach), RS, CS, MSS research data

----, lectures 2 fold.:1950, 59 MS, UPB, L, HE, EV

----, Oral Hist. 2 fold.:1958-60 BD, MG, HU (Castle, East, Wright), PLG, TR, CU, PI, Storrs, GS, hand. corr.

----, photo 9 fold.:age 1-67 BD

----, MSS 22 fold.:1915-60 UPB, L, BD, CU, PI, FL, HG, EI, T, MG, PRS

Edwards, M.L. (sec.) 140: 1953-54 TR (Italy), UPB, HG, PG

Ephrussi, Boris 25:1932-41 PG, RS, BD, WWII, ED

Fackenthal, F.D. 33:1940-49 CU, RC, C (displaced scholars), PI

Fisher, R. A. 32:1928-57 MG, HG, PB, Wright, Ford

Genetics 52 fold.:1935-41 EDIT, RF, PB, BS

Genetics Soc. Amer. 97+: 1928-34 SO, C, BD (nomin.), BS, CS

Gerould, J.H. 14: 1919-55 GS (Dunn), ED, T, RC

Goldschmidt, Richard 80:1928-50 PI, DGS, PRS, EV, G, DG, HE, SR, MG, photos

Grüneberg, Hans 79:1937-55 DGS, RS, MG

Huxley, Julian 36: 1930-61 DG, PLG, G (Gammarus), PB, CS, SO

Iltis, Hugo 215:1938-56 DGS, ED (Mendel, Iltis), HE, Mendel Museum

Ivanyi, Pavol 64: 1967-70 MG, IG, PG, CS, MSS

Jollos, Viktor 35: 1967-70 DGS, PRG

J. Heredity 47:1928-33 PB, RG, RV

Kilgore Bill 78+: 1943-50 NSF, PI

Landauer, Walter 1,080:1926-74 PLG, MG, PG, IG, EM, ED (Landauer), FL, PI, MSS, PS, HE, BC, DGS, SR, C, EI, Storrs, P. David

Landsteiner, Karl 53:1924-32 PLG, IG

Lewontin, RC. 28:1959-73 PG, MG, PB, PI, CU, NAS

Lippincott, W.A. 71:1921-27 PG, BIB, genetic nomencla.

Little, C.C. 30:1928-41 MG, PB, RS, Jackson Lab.

Lyndenburg, H.M. 25:1938-41 DGS, SR, PI

Lysenko Controversy, U.S.A. 61:1945-49 PI, PRS, PB, UPB

McGraw-Hill Book Co. 92: 1931-69 PB, BS, EDIT

Mohr, O.L. 76:1929-67 DG, HE, TR, PI, WWII, ED, PRS, CS, RC, EDIT, UPB, BIB, + 23 Mohr reprints

Morgan, T.H. 21:1918-45 RC (Belar), SO, ED (Mohr), obit. T.H.M.

Muller, H.J. 61:1928-67 DG, HG (race), PRS, SO, RS, PB, PI, RC (Gershenson)

Natl. Acad. Sci. 48:1943-72 NAS, CG, SO, PB, ED, PI

Natl. Res. Counc., Com. on Exper. Animals & Plants 175:1928-32 NRC, C, G, RS

New Amer. Libr. 4 fold. +:1957-71 PB, BS

Oehlkers, Friedrich 39:1938-39 DGS

Refugees 5 fold.:1929-42 SR, DGS, PI, EU (Germany)

Rizki, T.M. 38:1948-70 GS, RS, PB, DG, BD

Rome, Jewish Ghetto families 3 fold. HG, PC (blood groups)

Science in USSR 91 :1944-52 PRS (Lysenkoism), PB, PI

Seventh Intnatl. Genetics Congr. 66:1935-39 ICG 7, PI, PRS

Snell, G.D. 34:1939-72 MG (nomenclature), RC, ED (Snell)

UNESCO 78:1950-52 HG, EV (race), CS, PB

Univ. Fed. Intellectual Freedom 3 fold.:1937-39 SO, PI, C, EU

USSR geneticists 104: 1928-46 G, DG, PLG, TR, PB, PI, CU, PRS, RR, ED (W. B. Cannon)

Whiting, P.W. 28:1920-40 PLG, MG, G (Habrobracon), RS, CS, SO

Wright, Sewall 30:1920-64 G, PLG, MG, Hf3, PB, SO, ~GS, NAS, RV, RC (Charles, Muller, Jollos)

Yanagisawa, K. 4 fold.:1962-73 MG, PB, MSS

There are 71 letters to or from Dunn in the Caspari Papers, 57 in the Davenport Papers, 31 in the Dobzhansky Papers, 21 in the Lerner Papers, and 130 in the Stern Papers.


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